Outsiders in Okinawa: Sakura at Mount Yaedake

It’s been a while since I’ve written an Outsiders in Okinawa post, but I figured cherry blossoms were the perfect way to get back in the groove! Sakura, or cherry blossoms, are kind of a big deal in Japan. Cherry blossoms are in bloom for a very short period of time, and as such are symbolic of the ephemeral nature of life—embodied in the Japanese phrase mono no aware, meaning the pathos of things, and referring to the heightened appreciation for lively beauty and sadness at its impermanence. Millions flock to different parts of Japan every spring to catch the flowers in their notoriously unpredictable prime. They bloom earliest on Okinawa because of how far south the island is located, typically flowering in mid to late January. Cherry blossoms then bloom across mainland Japan, making an appearance in Tokyo in March and blooming in Hokkaido as late as April. We visited Mt. Yae (or Yaedake), home of Sakura no Mori Park and thousands of sakura trees, to partake in hanami, or cherry blossom viewing. Mt. Yae is north of Nago near Motobu, so if you live near Camps Kinser and Foster or Kadena Air Base, be prepared for a drive. There are several different entrances to the park, but I’ll include a pin for the spot we went to off of the Expressway and Route 58. You’ll come across a small bakery selling fresh bread and mikan juice (so good!), and you can either continue driving or park and walk through the rest of the park.

 


Cherry blossoms line the roads leading up to Mt. Yae’s summit.

Cherry blossoms range in color from white to vibrant reddish-pink.

Shisa representing (from left to right) good relationships, health, wish fulfillment, safety & prosperity, and mental achievement.
Sakura ice cream is a fun, festive treat to try! Even in the rain. ☔️
sakura
Contrary to what Bath & Body Works may have led you to believe, these cherry blossoms have virtually no smell!

It’s free to enter Mt. Yae, but I highly recommend bringing yen for fun sakura-themed treats being sold in booths along the road. There are bathrooms and vending machines throughout the park, and there are other attractions as well—a small shrine, a large playground, and views of Motobu and Ie Island. If hanami isn’t on your Okinawa bucket list, it should be! You don’t want to miss these stunning flowers in bloom. | xo

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What’s In My Travel Bag?

Every time I travel I play the how-much-stuff-can-I-bring-in-my-carryon bag game. Since I’ve been traveling throughout Southeast Asia, I haven’t been checking any luggage. I try to only bring essentials and multi-purpose products to save space for goodies I pick up on my travels. This little bag doesn’t include my skincare or hair items, but I usually only bring a travel size face wash and moisturizer (from this Murad kit), Simple Skin Care cleansing wipes (a lifesaver on the go), a detangling hair brush and travel size shampoo/body wash. I find that more often than not, I end up with my hair in a messy bun or half-pulled back in a hair clip. Depending on where I’m traveling, I may switch out (or add) powder or foundation to match the climate of my destination. For example, when I went to Taiwan, it was extremely humid so I brought Estee Lauder Double Wear because I knew it would hold up. But, the items below are staples that I bring along no matter the destination.

BASE //

FACE //

EYES //

LIPS //

TOOLS //

I’ve found that this is the perfect combination of versatile face products to give me a fresh-faced, but not overdone look on the go. The Complexion Rescue makes for a hydrating, healthy looking base, and it’s perfect for balancing your skin on dry flights. I spot conceal and highlight my undereyes with the concealer, and use the bronzer and shimmer palette for both my face and eyes. Depending on the size of the bottle, I’d also recommend tossing a setting spray in your bag just to keep it long-lasting. Lately, I’ve been loving the Smashbox Primer Water and Milani Make It Last Setting Spray.

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of these products are from the drugstore. Not only are these all really great products in terms of performance, they’re also affordable, which is a pro when you’re traveling and don’t want to risk losing your baggage or breaking something expensive. The makeup bag I’m using is from Vera Bradley, part of the Travel Cosmetic Set, which I highly recommend–it’s a 4-piece set that works great together for longer trips and separated for short getaways.

What’s in your travel bag? Anything I need to add to my own? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Disclaimer: this blog contains Amazon affiliate links.

Outsiders in Okinawa | Sea Glass Beach

Hi everyone! I missed my Fri-Yay series last week so this is me playing catch up. Buuuut, since it’s not Friday, I can’t really call it a Fri-Yay blog. So, instead, it’s Outsiders in Okinawa for the day. Alex and I haven’t been able to do much exploring since we’ve been on this amazing island, but we did recently pay a visit to Sea Glass Beach. It was a little tricky get to, but it was so worth it!

The beach is north of Ginoza off of 329, so it’s easy to get to the surrounding area from pretty much anywhere on the island. You’ll have to take some dirt roads to actually find your way (PS – they are single lane, so watch for oncoming traffic!), but that’s the hardest part. We saw hundreds of adorable hermit crabs, plenty of sea glass, and some gorgeous panoramic views of the coast.


Sea Glass Beach is definitely worth a visit! The sand is a little rough (and hot!), so hubs and I kept our shoes on. The water also felt like hot bath water so neither of us swam, although the water was pretty clear at the time. We saw a fair amount of sea glass and coral, but I’ve heard the best pickings are after a typhoon. We haven’t had our first typhoon of the season yet, but once we do, believe me – I will be out there beachin’ it and collecting glass. Let me know if you have any craft ideas for sea glass in the comments!

PS- here’s the pin drop:

 Sea Glass Beach

Henoko, Nago, Okinawa Prefecture 905-2171

https://goo.gl/maps/xya7HKGY1YR2

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Stuck in an Airport ✈



First of all, Lake Michigan looks much better when I’m in an airplane flying over it. Second of all, I am sitting in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport for what feels like the 500th time, stomach full of Chipotle from the familiar Concourse D location, and I can’t believe that 4 hours from now I will most likely be in the passenger seat of Alex’s car. The last five months have been hard – honestly, though, I think we’ve had harder times apart. Nevertheless, five months apart was emotionally strenuous, equally on our relationships as ourselves. I have been anticipating this trip for so long, that even though I’m on the brink of satisfying my insatiable crave of togetherness, it is surreal. Until my feet are firmly planted on North Carolina soil, hand in Alex’s hand, I will not believe that this is really happening. But holy moly, am I excited.

What’s In My Travel Bag? (A lot)

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Happy Wednesday, beautiful creatures! As you know, I am finally taking a trip to see Alex in TWO FREAKIN’ DAYS! I’m actually checking a bag for once, so I have a little more room to pack things. For reference, I am not including any of the skincare products that I’m taking, because this blog would probably be pages and pages long so I figured I would spare you. This is the bare minimum of things that I’m bringing with me, but I might add a few more lippies in because I’m indecisive! 😊


Tools:

  • Elf Complexion brush (I use this for setting powder)
  • Elf Studio Stipple brush (I use this for blush)
  • Sigma F80
  • RealTechniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
  • EcoTools Domed Bronzer Brush
  • Random, super old brush from Clinique (I use this for contouring my nose and cheekbones)
  • Elf Studio Flawless Concealer brush (I use this to blend out eyeshadow)
  • Sonia Kashuk No 116 (Crease brush)
  • Elf Studio Small Angled Brush (I use this with ABH Dip Brow)
  • Small jewelry pliers (weird, but I use these to pluck my stray eyebrow hairs)

Makeup

  • Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette
  • Benefit Hoola Bronzer
  • Wet n Wild Color Icon Blush in Pearlescent Pink
  • Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder in 25 Buff Beige
  • L’Oreal Telescopic Shocking Extensions Mascara in Black
  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in 20 Sand
  • Elf Matte Lip Color in Rich Red (can’t travel without a red lippie. can’t.)
  • Covergirl Outlast 3-in-1 Foundation in 855 Soft Honey
  • Maybelline Dream Pure BB in Light/Medium
  • Benefit Porefessional
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown
  • Nyx Wonder Pencil in Light
  • Elf Brightening Eyeliner in Coffee
  • Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kajal Eyeliner in Black
  • Rimmel 1000 Kisses Lip Liner in Natural
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow in Blonde
  • Wet N Wild Megalast Lip Color in Mauve Outta Here
  • Urban Decay Big Fatty Mascara in Black
  • Baby Lips Dr. Rescue lip balm in Coral Crave

Soooo, it’s definitely kind of a lot for travel, but let’s be real. I want to be #flawless when I get to see my man after five months. (Even though he’s all, “You look gorgeous” when I’m rocking some 7am rooster tails, dragon breath, and smudged mascara that I was too lazy to remove the night before.) Let me know in the comments below what you keep in your travel bag! Also, safe to say I’m going to spend at least two hours shopping for makeup at the PX, so if you have any suggestions, share them! I’m sincerely considering the Too Faced Boudoir Eyes palette.

xx

Shelbie